I've been trying to add an animated file into a pdf through indesign. So far every technique and file format I've tried results in a problem with the color of the image. Basically I'm trying to match the background color of an .swf animation to the background color of the indesign document, the rgb values are the same in both files, but as soon as I export to interactive pdf the background color of the animation ends up darker.

This is what it looks like:

enter image description here

The square with the "A" is the .swf media within the pdf. The darker orange is meant to match the background in order to make it appear transparent. When viewing .swf file outside of the pdf the colours appear fine, it even looks fine in the .swf preview within indesign, but as soon as I export suddenly the color changes. This has been happening with every file format I tried... flv, mp4, avi etc.

1 Answer 1


I would suggest removing the background from the SWF and setting a transparent background in Acrobat. Here are the steps I took (with screenshots):

  1. Export to Interactive PDF. Here's a screenshot from my test file. Note the white background around the SWF. white background
  2. Right click on the SWF and select Properties. select Properties
  3. Select the Transparent Background option. Edit SWF Properties
  4. I then had to click on the SWF to activate it. Activate the SWF And there it is! finished product You can save your PDF and send it along.

Another source for this technique: http://indesignsecrets.com/how-to-get-animations-to-work-in-pdf-working-title.php


  • Export the file as a SWF from InDesign and post the SWF and HTML file to a web server.
  • SWFPresenter – clever tool that will convert each InDesign page to a SWF and embed them in PDF pages.
  • Export to HTML5 using in5 (you can then edit the SWF embed code in a text editor) and post to a web server. Disclosure: I am the creator of in5.

Personally, I think making the background change in Acrobat in the best way to go.

  • This is an interesting technique but its creating the same problem, i still get a square around it with a different shade of orange and the greys are darkened. I might try your other solutions, thanks!
    – fred
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 19:59
  • You'll have to completely remove the background in Flash before exporting the SWF. Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 2:59

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